Project Makes Maricopa Traffic Uglier

The City of Maricopa’s John Wayne Beautification Project along State Route 347 (also known as John Wayne Parkway) is being built between the northern city boundary and Honeycutt Road to attract future residents and employers to the area and is scheduled for completion in February.

The project’s scope includes adding trees, landscaping, metal art, decorative lighting, and an entryway monument greeting residents and visitors as they arrive in the community.

A distinctive entry point “has been well-needed in our community for many years,” Public Services Director Mike Riggs said. “This project has been years, even decades in the making.” The project is sprucing up 347 between Honeycutt Road and the northern city boundary.

Construction on the streetscape improvements began last summer and created some traffic headaches along the way, including some miles-long backups in the early afternoons on Fridays for people coming into town from the north. This unusual timing has made the situation even more aggravating for residents, the city acknowledged.

As a result, the contractor on the project agreed to have workers remove barriers placed at the north end of town at noon on Fridays rather than at 3 p.m., which was the end of the 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. workday for the road crews.

The feedback from frustrated drivers helped to trigger discussions about the outlook for longer-term improvements in traffic flow and commuter satisfaction with living in the area, officials said.

City spokesperson Quinn Konold said, “The paradox is that our ability to build the infrastructure to accommodate a larger population only increases as that population arrives. That’s because the state prioritizes our road projects as the population grows, which is why city leaders are highly motivated in preparing for growth and creating long-term solutions.”